I could complain that no one told me that motherhood was this hard. Motherhood doesn’t come naturally, and just because you give birth to a child doesn’t mean that you have any clue on how to deal with things. I could bemoan the fact that I’d always believed that motherhood, once obtained, would never change. Once I was a mother, I’d know how to be a mother. Right?
I could complain, but it wouldn’t be legitimate. I was the oldest child, not only in my small family, but also of all my cousins. My oldest sibling is 6 years younger than I am; my youngest sibling just graduated high school. I was old enough to watch and learn about being a mother from my own mother. She was still raising babies when I was old enough to have babies. I totally knew what this was all about!
In my defense, while my youngest sister (10 years younger than I am) was a pretty strong-willed kiddo and did deal with some health issues as a baby, my baby brother – who was born just 6 weeks shy of my 17th birthday – was the perfect infant. Seriously. Mama could put him in his little bucket carseat, strap him down, set him on the table, and he would just watch her do the dishes. He was one of the most contented babies that I have ever seen, to this day. SO unfair!
My oldest son was born just 2 years later. He screamed from the time he was 2 weeks old until he was 4 years old. I said for a long time that his speech was delayed because the whole time he was supposed to be learning to talk, all the child did was scream. It was only a very slight exaggeration. We found out later that he deals with high functioning autism. He’s 16 now, and it’s been a journey, but he’s doing great! This motherhood thing, though….
Then my second son was born. He was cute. He was sweet. He didn’t like me. Seriously. He preferred his daddy to fall asleep; even self-weaned at only 11 months old. He was in to every possible mess he could make. Butter from the tub, head to toe. Sugar from the bag, all over the living room. Stamping ink… don’t ask. EGGS CRACKED ON THE CARPET UNDER THE BED. For real. I know now that he was probably texture seeking, but, seriously??? He climbed the curtains like a cat at 9 months old. At 2 years, he was letting mice loose from the glue traps. This motherhood thing….
The third child, yet another boy (really, God?), was a little easier parenting-wise. We had to move from one-on-one to a zone defense, and these two kiddos are only 14 months apart, so that was hard. Being evicted while I was in the hospital having a baby was hard (and crazy), but that’s another story. It was after this kiddo when I finally decided to get a grip on what I was doing! This motherhood thing was NOT EASY!!!
And then came the twins. I’ll just leave that for another day.
I know that God has ordained me to be a mother. I believe most, if not all Christian women are. (I know that those who deal with infertility find that hard to hear, and really sometimes despise the whole Hannah story thing. Trust me, my intentions and thoughts are much different than you are used to hearing, and I have not forgotten you!!) Just because God has put something down inside of me, and just because He has ordained me to accomplish much in that area, doesn’t mean that He doesn’t expect effort on my part. It doesn’t mean that I won’t have to learn the hard way. God expects me to seek godly council in every area of life, especially in those areas where we are called to grow and to war spiritually.
This motherhood thing? It’s warfare, y’all. It’s warfare on behalf of my children. It’s warfare on our culture. It’s warfare… sometimes almost literally , on the bad days. But – dear, sweet, Christian mom!! – it’s warfare for me too. The enemy wants to sabotage what my goals are in the lives of my children. He wants to steal my joy in being a mother. He wants to kill my instinct. He wants to destroy my confidence. I won’t let him.
This motherhood thing? It’s war. Bring it on!
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